Bizarre 0-0 heat result at Brandon

Coventry 44 Peterborough 39Elite League APETERBOROUGH obtained their first away point of the season courtesy of a close defeat at Coventry, but the match will be remembered for a completely bizarre heat 14 which saw all 4 riders excluded and a heat score of 0-0.

Coventry 44 Peterborough 39

Elite League A

PETERBOROUGH obtained their first away point of the season courtesy of a close defeat at Coventry, but the match will be remembered for a completely bizarre heat 14 which saw all 4 riders excluded and a heat score of 0-0.

Panthers had got off to the best possible start with an opening 5-1 courtesy of Henning Bager and Kenneth Bjerre, but following a shared reserves race, the Bees levelled it up with a heat 3 maximum of their own.

Two more shared heats followed although Kenneth Hansen winning the fourth with captain Niels Kristian Iversen at the back was totally unexpected.

The Bees broke the deadlock with the first of two bizarre heats as with Harris and Frampton seemingly on a 5-1; Iversen came to grief on the last bend of the last lap and was immediately assisted by one of the Coventry track staff, who picked up his bike, Iversen quickly retrieved his machine and pushed the bike over the line only to get disqualified for outside assistance.

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Coventry extended their lead in the 7th with a 4-2, but Panthers lost Zabik who fell awkwardly when his engine seized and threw him off his bike, he subsequently was withdrawn with a shoulder injury and went to hospital.

A 4-2 in 8 was followed by a maximum in heat 9 as the Bees Allen & Kennett took full advantage of a clearly out of sorts Iversen.

Panthers hit back with a maximum in heat 10 to reduce the deficit to 9 points and through Hansen riding in three consecutive heats reduced the deficit even further with a 4-2 in heat 12.

Panthers again looked to be getting something out of 13 as Bjerre initially led with Iversen third, however Harris wound it up to catch Bjerre and Panthers misery was compounded as Schlein got the better of Iversen with Coventry taking the 4-2 instead of the visitors.

Heat 14 needed three several reruns but no one was finally deemed to have scored any points at the end of it.

Kennett was first to go when he lost control and went into the air fence on bend 4, it was Frampton's turn to test the air fence in the rerun with referee Jim Lawrence judging Claus Vissing the guilty party and then we were down to 2.

Frampton made the better gate to lead but Hansen caught him on the back straight of lap 2 and passed him on the inside, Frampton looked to catch Hansen's machine as he entered the 3rd bend and he again went into the air fence, Hansen who was clearly unsettled as a result of the contact managed to make the 4th bend before he also tested the air fence, and with both riders down and clearly in difficulties the race was stopped.

After some deliberation the referee excluded both remaining riders with the result that neither team got any points from heat 14, in 40 years of watching speedway this was the first time I had witnessed this scenario and its clear from the discussions following that the referee's decision wasn't universally accepted.

The result still left the match delicately poised with Panthers needing a 5-1 in heat 15 to gain a point, it looked unlikely but Bjerre and Korneliussen got away quickly with Schlein in close pursuit, Schlein took Korneliussen but entering the third bend with a lot of speed he came up close behind race leader Bjerre and fell alarmingly taking team mate Kennett with him.

With Schlein excluded Kennett came out on Harris machine in the reurn, but he was unable to stop the Peterborough bagging the much needed 5-1 for a match point, despite pressuring Korneliussen in the final two laps.

It was a mixed night for the Panthers, Hansen was absolutely delighted to secure his biggest pay night in his British League career and he said “This was a relief to me to come here to Coventry and score so many points, I am really pleased to show that I can put scores like this in not only for me but for the team as well, it was just disappointing to get excluded from my last ride when it wasn't my fault. The club and management have been excellent to me and I have just agreed a deal which will see me here for the rest of the season”.

But it was a Brandon nightmare for the skipper Niels Kristian Iversen who managed just 1 point from his 4 rides, whilst Claus Vissing deserved more but again had problems with his machine and was excluded from his last ride when adjudged the cause of Framptons demise in heat 14.

Karol Zabik looked out of sorts in his first ride and fell badly when his bike seized in his second, a shoulder injury was the track diagnosis from medical staff and he was packed off to hospital for x rays.

But it was the bizarre circumstances which led to the decisions surrounding heat 14 which everyone was discussing as they left the stadium.